New Activist Workshop: (2 days) This course is open to all members of the NSGEU. It includes: an overview of workers’ rights and the relevance of unions; an overview of other labour bodies and relevant Nova Scotia legislation; NSGEU structure and function, including an overview of our constitution and by-laws, and an explanation of bargaining; equity and human rights, and their importance to the union. The program uses small groups to ensure that everyone who attends gets to participate. Back to Top

Steward Level I: (2 days) This course is open to all stewards with no prior training. It covers the role and responsibilities of the steward; the grievance process and timelines; common issues for stewards (accommodation, health and safety, and duty of fair representation); grievance-handling protocol; grievance investigation, and human-rights issues.Back to Top

Steward Level II: (2 days) This course focuses on investigating grievances; writing grievances; improving representation skills; building steward confidence; dealing with management; duty to accommodate; interviewing; problem solving and conflict resolution; and encouraging activism in the workplace.

Facilitator Training: (5 days) This course educates members in the philosophy, principles and practice of popular education within the labour movement. Courses include facilitation techniques as well as principles for delivering effective adult education. Generally offered by invitation to those who have been selected to participate.Back to Top

Local or Sectoral Collective Agreement Training: (half or full day) These training sessions are held upon request by a local or the ERO to help members better understand their collective agreement. These sessions are for local stewards and local executive members and usually take place after a collective agreement is reached.Back to Top

NSGEU Week-long School: (5 days) This program develops the next generation of union leaders and activists. Members who want to attend must write a description of their union involvement and how they intend to use their education.Back to Top

Classes generally offered at NSGEU Week-Long School:

Advanced Steward – This course is for chief stewards or experienced stewards who have completed Steward Level II with an emphasis on the role stewards play in the workplace, and relevant labour law. This program uses many role-playing and real-life scenarios to improve grievance-handling skills and examine issues like duty to accommodate, harassment, addiction issues and effective ways of dealing with management.Back to Top

Leadership – This course covers leadership skills and styles, conflict resolution, power relations, union building, accountability, inclusion, priorities and planning, and diversity issues.Back to Top

Political Lobbying  – This course covers the history and structure of the labour movement, membership mobilizing, communications, working with coalitions, lobbying, media, and campaigns. This course is not offered every year.Back to Top

Mobilizing the Membership – The mobilizing course trains Local leaders and activists to develop and implement strategies to mobilize the membership, whether in workplace campaigns, public opinion campaigns, lobbying efforts or direct action. The course focuses on the planning and organization of campaigns and developing the skills to recruit and mobilize members.Back to Top

Communications – This course focuses on public speaking for union activists. It teaches activists the tools to improve their public speaking skills to assist them in their leadership roles within the union.Back to Top

Talking Mobilizing Among Generations – Workplaces are rapidly changing, as a new generation enters the workforce. There are at least 4 generations trying to work together, and we need the participation of workers from multiple generations in order to run this course successfully. Its purpose is to increase your awareness of the needs and realities of the members of different generations in the union and workplace. This course will build your level of comfort and skill to engage in meaningful cross-generational dialogue, in order to make and ensure our workplaces are safe and healthy for all. Union membership has to be active to make gains, protect what we have won, or work out new ways of working together to achieve our goals in the workplace.Back to Top


These workshops are generally held every three years in the fall, following NSGEU’s Triennial Convention.

Local Officers workshop: (2 days) Education for newly elected local officers (local presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers, and chief stewards). Also invited are the chairs and recording secretaries of the Regional and Occupational Councils. The course covers the roles and responsibilities of each officer’s position, as well as rules of order, running effective meetings, mobilizing the membership, and updates from the union executive.Back to Top

Regional & Occupational Council workshops: (1 day) Education in roles and responsibilities for elected members of Occupational and Regional Councils, and brief review of union structure. These meetings include election of the Regional and Occupational Council to the NSGEU Board of Directors. Whether a member is newly elected or has been a councilor in the past, attendance is required.Back to Top

Chief Steward Workshops: Held as needed to assist and educate chief stewards on their roles and responsibilities, get feedback on the steward-education program, to update chief stewards on new developments in jurisprudence and refresh on the basics.Back to Top

Online Education Module

Resolutions Workshop: Learn how to write and submit resolutions from your local to Triennial Convention. Complete the online module at your own pace or review it at your local meeting.Back to Top

Other workshops are also in development. Please check back for more online modules.


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